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From Tasman To Marsden.



On 24th March Captain Thompson reached Sydney, and reported that he had come from Ulitea and had put in to the Bay of Islands for some days (28th February to 9th March), and had found the Settlement all well. Two months were spent at Port Jackson, and the Active again sailed for the Bay on 30th May.

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On her return journey to Sydney the Active reached the Bay on 9th November, and spent a month there, and shipping 6,000 feet of plank sawn by the Natives themselves, and paid for with articles of husbandry which were much in demand. In addition to the New Zealand timber a quantity of flax was shipped.

Captain Thompson gave the following census of the Missionary Establishment:—

“Mr. Kendall, Mrs. Kendall, and seven children; Mr. Hall, Mrs. Hall, and three children; Mr. King, Mrs. King, and three children; Mr. Carlisle, Mrs. Carlisle, and one child; Mr. Gordon, Mrs. Gordon, and one child."

It is singular that all occupying humble positions are absolutely ignored. Marsden had a method of mentioning the fact that there was a sawyer or smith, but he also seemed to regard it as unnecessary to give their names.

In regard to the shipping at the Bay Captain Thompson reported that the whaler Catherine, Captain Graham, was there a full ship and on the eve of sailing for England.

The next Sydney vessel to call in at the Bay was the Haweis, commanded by Captain Nicholson (after whom Port Nicholson is called), returning from the Society Islands laden with pork and cocoa-nut oil.

While the events at the Bay of Islands were establishing the Mission settlers in their work of pioneers to the missionaries which were yet to come from the Church Missionary Society, events were happening in England which resulted in the appointment of the first missionary. Two New Zealanders, Tui, who had resided at Marsden's Seminary at Parramatta for about three years, and Titori, who had spent nearly eighteen months there, were sent to England by Marsden “to enlarge their ideas and prepare them for great usefulness to their countrymen." Both were young men of fine temper and natural parts, and excellent representatives of their countrymen. Part of Marsden's scheme was to have a New Zealand vocabulary formed by some celebrated philologist in England, and the visit of these two chiefs was to be taken advantage of to have this done. Tui and Titori page 211 were not to be idle during their stay; when not engaged on the vocabulary they were to be put on a rope-walk and given information regarding the working of the flax plant. They sailed from Sydney in H.M. brig Kangaroo on 9th April 1817, and, after a ten months' cruise via Batavia, arrived safely in London.

For the philological work the Rev. Samuel Lee, Professor of Oriental Languages at Cambridge, and a man of special knowledge and experience in that line of work, was selected to fix the spelling, pronunciation, and construction of the New Zealand language.

The London autumn had proved too much for Maui, and it now seemed that the London spring was going to prove too much for the new arrivals; but directly it was seen that their physical condition was unequal to their surroundings the two chiefs were sent off to Shropshire and placed under the care of a clergyman there who was very much interested in their work. They were given every opportunity of observing the coal, iron, and china works in the locality where they resided, and the clearer air of the country brought about such a change in their health that by June all concern for their health had passed away.

During the stay of the two New Zealanders, which lasted until the end of the year, the Church Missionary Society concluded arrangements with the Rev. Jno. Butler to proceed to New Zealand with his wife and two children and take up the position of first resident missionary there. Arrangements were also made with Francis Hall to go out as a schoolmaster, and James Kent as a smith, the latter accompanied by his wife. These appointees of the Church Missionary Society, with Messrs. Tui and Titori, embarked on board the Sydney-bound convict-ship Baring, Captain Lamb, at Sheerness, on Wednesday, 16th December 1818, but through accidents of various kinds the Baring did not leave the Downs until 27th January 1819.

On 18th August Marsden sent to England another party of New Zealanders—Powrow and Powreea. In view of what afterwards transpired in connection with Natives visiting page 212 England it is interesting to know that Marsden had decided, before these men left Parramatta Seminary, that they were to be the last who should be encouraged to make the trip. They were sent on the Claudine, which, like the Kangaroo, proceeded to Batavia before going Home, and, as ill-luck would have it, the Natives caught fever at the Dutch Settlement, and never reached the English Channel.

The author suggests that a Settlement firmly established on the shores of the Bay of Islands, and Marsden's scheme for christianising the Natives so far advanced that the first Resident Missionary was on his road to the scene of his future labours, mark a point in the history of the development of New Zealand where author and reader alike can agree to call a halt. Even if we were not at a suitable stopping place the author has had enough of this class of work for the present, and intends to seek recreation by taking up other employment. Should reader and writer meet again there is plenty to interest them in discussing what the colonists did before the establishment of law and order in 1840 knocked all the romance out of New Zealand life. Meantime, good-bye.